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by Charita Cole Brown

Against doctors’ predictions, Charita Cole Brown has been able to manage her bipolar disorder for more than twenty-five years. During her final semester of college, Charita Cole Brown suffered a psychotic episode frighteningly reminiscent of her grandmother’s own breakdown and subsequent hospitalization. Afterward, she was diagnosed as bipolar. Vowing to remain honest, Brown details her struggle despite her diagnosis, with a life full of love, hope, and success.

CHARITA COLE BROWN earned a BA in English from Wesleyan University and an MAT in Early Childhood Education from Towson University in Maryland. She is now retired and lives in Baltimore with her two daughters.


Defying the Verdict is a wonderful book: deeply human, full of life’s joys and suffering. Full of the author’s courage and faith. Charita Brown describes her bipolar illness in telling detail; her writing is powerful and eloquent. I highly recommend this book.”

-Kay Redfield Jamison, author of An Unquiet Mind

“Charita Cole Brown writes with grace, vulnerability, and a fearless urgency about being a black woman with bipolar disorder. Her story is remarkable, full of insight and inspiration.”

-Nana-Ama Danquah, author of Willow Weep For Me: A Black Woman’s Journey Through Depression

“In an artful and gripping account of life inside an over-imaginative brain, Charita’s fierce determination to ride the waves of her illness with unshakeable resolve inspires fortitude in the most challenging of personal circumstances. Grounded by her family’s love and her own undeniable intellect, this victorious story activates hope for those with and without a brain-based illness.”

-Cassandra Joubert, author of Losing Control: Loving A Black Child With Bipolar Disorder

“Most people who buy a book about mental illness are seeking education. With style and grace Defying the Verdict does just that. But Charita Cole Brown’s narrative also gives the reader a positive dose of hope and encouragement – just what the reader needs. Brown’s account of her journey is straightforward, her symptoms carefully worded. Be open, don’t hide. Her life is not easy, but she finds a way to exist in a dignified and satisfying manner. As a member of a family where mental illness is well known, I recommend this exceptional book.”

-Mimi Baird, author of He Wanted the Moon, The Madness and Medical Genius of Dr. Perry Baird and His Daughter’s Quest to Know Him

Pages: 200
ISBN: 978-1945883071
Publication Date: March 2018

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